Intro to QI

Read here for a brief introduction to Improvement Science. For a more detailed discussion please go to the Education Module.

What is quality improvement?

Quality improvement is a formal approach to the analysis of performance and the systematic efforts to improve it. Put simply, quality improvement is a systematic approach that utilises specific techniques to improve the quality of health care.

It is now widely recognised that high quality care is not consistently delivered across England. Healthcare is not always safe and can lead to poor patient experience and outcomes. Quality improvement aims to: reduce levels of harm, drive up quality of patient care and improve productivity.

Your quality improvement journey

Our education module will take you through the basics of quality improvement and improvement science, grounded in day-to-day perioperative examples. We begin our journey learning to appreciate the environment and the systems that we work in, and the processes that permeate through them. You will learn how systems can set up healthcare workers to make errors, and how real improvement comes from changing systems not changing within systems.

This leads on to the process chapter, where you will learn how to assess and map the processes of care within a system. You will find how-to-guides and downloadable tools to help you with this in the QI Tools section. Following this you will learn about the ‘Model for Improvement’, arguably one of the most useful frameworks to aid quality improvement initiatives, incorporating a clear guide on the infamous PDSA cycles.

Two chapters on measurement for QI will guide you through the maze of all different kinds of charts, and you will learn how measurement for QI differs from measurement for research. You can find useful excel templates in our QI Tools section, so you can start making your own run charts and SPC charts straight away.

The final three chapters cover the human factors and the psychology of improvement and change. We also cover how to ensure your quality improvement changes can be made reliable and most importantly, sustainable.